Shoulder Injury Symptoms and Treatments – Orthopedic Los Angeles



Out of all of the joints in the body, the shoulder joint has the greatest range of motion. As a result, it is particularly susceptible to dislocation. In most cases of dislocation, the top of the upper arm bone is forced forwards when the arm is turned outwards and held out to the side. This is the most common type of dislocation. Posterior dislocation is the second most common injury.

Bursitis or Tendinitis

Bursitis or tendinitis is caused by overuse of the shoulder from repetitive activities, such as swimming, painting or lifting weights. These actions cause different parts of the rotator cuff to rub against each other, leading to pain and swelling. This is the most common symptom that our specialist treats.

Impingement and partial tear of the rotator cuff

The rotator cuff is under the acromion, in the acromioclavicular joint. It is best to treat bursitis and tendinitis early on, by changing or stopping the repetitive activity that causes the problem, and through a physical rehabilitation regimen for the shoulder.

Partial rotator cuff tears can be accompanied by chronic inflammation and the growth of spurs below the rotator cuff.

Light exercise and occasional cortisone injections are the best treatment for a partial tear. If non-surgical treatments are not effective, surgery can be performed to remove the spurs.

Full-thickness tear of the rotator cuff

Full-thickness rotator cuff tears are most commonly caused by heavy lifting, falls, or by aggravating rotator cuff impingement or partial thickness tears. In a majority of cases, reducing physical activity is the best way to treat the pain. If non-surgical treatments are not effective, full-thickness rotator cuff tears can be repaired surgically.

Our doctor uses an arthroscopic surgical technique to evaluate the rotator cuff, remove spurs, and repair certain tears. Regardless of the surgical technique used, long rehabilitation of the shoulder is required.

Shoulder Instability

Shoulder instability is most frequently caused by overuse of the shoulder or sudden trauma.

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There are two basic forms of shoulder instability: subluxations and dislocations. A subluxation is an incomplete or partial dislocation, in which the shoulder is only partially out of the socket. A dislocation occurs when the head of the arm bone slips out of the shoulder socket completely. Dislocations can be a chronic problem.

Fractured Collarbone

A fractured collarbone often times occurs due to a fall on the shoulder during physical activity. Splits or slings can be used to treat a fractured collarbone, but for severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

Dislocated Shoulder

The shoulder joint is the most mobile joint of the body. It has a wide range of motion and can turn in many directions. This makes the shoulder an easy joint to dislocate. While popping the bones back into the proper position can treat shoulder dislocations, repeated shoulder dislocations require surgery for effective treatment.

Our specialist usually uses arthroscopic surgery for this procedure. Arthroscopy is an outpatient procedure and normally does not require a hospital stay. Regardless of the type of surgery procedure used, physical therapy is necessary to completely heal the arm.

Fractured head of the humerus

Another common fracture occurs on the head of the humerus and is caused by falls on an outstretched arm. This is common in older people with osteoporosis. Depending on the severity of the fracture, surgery may be required and an artificial joint may be needed to replace the shoulder joint.

Arthritis of the shoulder

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can cause damage to the shoulder joint and tissue. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the capsule or rotator cuff. Osteoarthritis is what occurs when the articular surface of the shoulder joint wears thin. Rheumatoid arthritis is associated with chronic inflammation of the joint.

The Avalon Orthopedic shoulder specialists have extensive experience in treating both conditions.

Our doctors are Orthopedic Surgeons specializing in minimally invasive, arthroscopic surgery – should you require surgical intervention. Although surgery could alleviate your pain, our doctors will do their best to avoid surgical intervention as many injuries can be treated through conservative measures such as medication and rehabilitation therapy.

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